The Happy Bullets

The Mermaid Lounge

July 31, 2004

Before I went inside to catch The Happy Bullets, someone told me they sounded like a cross between They Might Be Giants and another band. After hearing the set, the TMBG reference point was good enough.

The rock quintet from Dallas made joyous music Saturday night at The Mermaid Lounge. Their tall, bald keyboardist was giddy like how I hate people to be when I’m in a bad mood. But, I was at a rock concert—a perfect spot to be molded. So, the keyboardist’s smiles and hops were infectious, and soon enough I was dancing and smiling too. Props go to opening band The Tah-Dahs for creating an atmosphere for this to happen easily in.

It was a great time in the midst of well-crafted pop/rock. The four guys and a girl and a pizza place(remember that show?) heralded their happiness with a trumpet and tambourines. Except for one song, their music was mid-tempo and straightforward. The songs were quirky, but their style and structure wasn’t as diverse as TMBG. The whole band was talented, and they all had a great stage presence. They looked happy to be there, even though there were only ten people in the room—tops. During one song, the keyboardist warned the audience of an upcoming three-guitar attack. So, I summoned the spirit of The Drive By Truckers and survived.

In the middle of a song, Paradise Vendors drummer Elzy Lindsay leaned over to me and said, “Places Ray Davies should have been.” I agree. I don’t see how the former Kinks front-man would have disliked this band, considering The Happy Bullets were obviously influenced by The Kinks. I’m just not sure if Mr. Davies feels safe walking around the city anymore after his gunshot wound. It’d be nice to see him out supporting the scene, though. You hear that, Ray Davies? I’m calling you out. Next time The Happy Bullets are in town, we’ll…meet. That’s about it. I’ll be happy to meet you, and you’ll be like, “Who’s this dork?!”



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